Application of ICT technology in physics education: teaching and learning elementary oscillations with the aid of simulation software
Keywords:Interactive learning, Models of oscillators, animation, Mathematica®
In the present study we employ a combination of laboratory exercises and simulation. In particular we studied the case of teaching mechanical oscillations to undergraduate students of Polytechnic and Pedagogical departments. Simulations were performed using a general purpose package, MATHEMATICA®, which is widely employed in our departments, and presents some important advantages such as ease of writing mathematical relations, small extent of programs necessary for the solution, ease of creating graphical representations/animations. In the employed process we construct an experimental setup of the physical system using a general purpose package students construct a model of the system that already know from the laboratory students produce solutions for various initial conditions, represent graphically the results and produce animations corresponding to the time evolution of the system. The results show that the above process offers the students many different representations of the physical problem leading to a better understanding, contribute to the development of critical spirit and to the familiarization with the use of ICT.
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